POSTED: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 11:18pm
UPDATED: Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 11:12am
TYLER — A recent study by the Babson Survey Research Group shows the number of students nationwide taking at least one online class has surpassed 6 million.
And 65% of higher education instiutions say online learning is part of their long term strategy.
Ken Craver is the director of "Distance Education" at Tyler Junior College.
He says the survey results mirror what's happening here in East Texas.
"And we are certifying more and more faculty because we are getting a demand for more and more online classes," Craver said.
Craver says they have 11 degrees that are fully online -- and 48 degrees that are mostly online -- they call those hybrids.
Craver says their Health Information Technology degree is only offered online.
"That degree was losing enrollment because all the people that could take it were working or needed to take it and get the certification -- were working and couldn't come to school. We put it online and the enrollment jumped," Craver said.
We also spoke with TJC student Michael Chamberlain.
He's taken an online class before that he really got a lot out of.
"They give you the time and flexibility to do the work when you can or when you want to and still be able to get your work done," Chamberlain said.
Craver says the demographic for online classes is typically older. He says it's a great way for people to go back to school.
"It allows people that otherwise could not make an evening class, you know because they have kids at home...but they can do something online because they can work from home. And that's the key," Craver said.
The survey also shows there are still some educators out there against online learning because they believe the quality is not the same as face to face.
But Craver says at TJC it is the same.
He says it also takes a lot of responsibility because it's the student that has to set their own pace.